Contrary to what you might have heard, you do not want to spend all of your assets and be solely reliant on government benefits because Medicaid will not cover all of your costs. If you spend all of your assets and then use Medicaid to pay for your long-term care, you will not have the money you need to pay for important needs that Medicaid doesn’t cover.
The government looks back five years for gifts made after February 8, 2006 and 3 years for gifts made prior. If the government identifies that you made a gift during that time, you will be ineligible for Medicaid for a period of time. It could be months or years before you qualify depending on how much you gave away, your state's rules, and when the gift was made. You should always consult an elder law attorney before making gifts.
A special kind of "life estate" deed may allow your property to automatically pass to your heirs upon your death while allowing you to qualify for Medicaid. This is more complex than simply adding people to your deed and requires the advice of an estate, probate or elder law attorney.
An elder law attorney can establish a Durable Power of Attorney for you that protects your assets and helps with other aging issues in ways a regular durable power of attorney doesn’t. You can pick someone to make decisions for you if you are unable to.